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Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love [Kindle Edition]

Marty Cagan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $29.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Why do some products make the leap to greatness while others do not?

Creating inspiring products begins with discovering a product that is valuable, usable, and feasible. If you can not do this, then it s not worth building anything.

- How do you decide which product opportunities to pursue?

- How do you get evidence that the product you are going to ask your engineering team to build will be successful?

- How do you identify the minimal possible product that will be successful?

- How do you manage the often conflicting demands of company execs, customers, sales, marketing, engineering, design, and more?

- How can you adapt Agile methods for commercial product environments?

Product management expert Marty Cagan answers these questions and hundreds more as he shares lessons learned, techniques, and best practices from working for and with some of the most successful companies in the high-tech industry.

Editorial Reviews


"At eBay, of all of the leaders in the past decade, Marty had the most significant and lasting impact on how we create products."
- Frerk-Malte Feller, Managing Director, eBay Germany

"When it comes to creating inspiring products, Marty Cagan knows his stuff."
- Pete Deemer, Former Chief Product Officer, Yahoo! and CEO of GoodAgile

"Marty balances key product management principles, great new techniques, and examples that bring them all home."
- Jim Denney, VP Product Management, TiVo

"Marty is not only a seasoned expert on all aspects of the often ambiguous discipline of product management, his book also provides inspiration, tools and techniques, and really practical help."
- Judy Gibbons, Accel Partners

"This is a must read if you have any hope of building a company based on great products."
- Chuck Geiger, Former CTO, PayPal, Travelocity and

"It doesn't matter how good your engineering team is if they aren t building the right products, and no one is better than Marty at helping teams discover the right products."
- Marty Abbott, Former CTO, eBay and Partner, AKF Consulting
--Back Cover

About the Author

Marty Cagan is founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, where he helps companies create winning product strategies and develop the skills of their product organization as well as the techniques they use to create successful products.

During the past 20 years, Marty has served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world. He was most recently senior vice-president of product management and design for eBay, where he was responsible for defining products and services for the company's global e-commerce trading site. Prior to that, Marty was vice-president of product at AOL and Netscape Communications, and a software engineer at HP Labs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 678 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0981690408
  • Publisher: SVPG Press (June 4, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AQ95UY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,510 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent and Passion in product management February 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is a pity that there are only 5 stars to award the maximum appreciation for this book. There are a number of achievements that deserve, alone, five stars.

First, Marty Cagan clearly states what qualities a Product Manager must have. Not everyone is talented to be a Product Manager. The author lists unmeasurable traits, such as product passion, customer empathy, innate intelligence (there is no substitute for it, we learn), ethics, integrity and confidence. The latter is very important as the entire teams in engineering and marketing must be kept inspired. This leads to the corollary that simply training a person to be a Product Manager is not enough. One must know when an unsuitable person must look for other positions. This is something uncommon, to consider what many view a process driven function to a talent.

Second, the book asks where to place the Product Manageent function. In Engineering? In Marketing? There is a distinction between a Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager. As veteran product manager myself, I know the challenges to be part of engineering. Engineers are sometimes suspicious of marketing and their product manager becomes the "piñata" everyone beats in frustration. As part of Marketing, there is tendency to follow release processes and create demands engineering can not deliver in a logical way. Marty advocates the creation of a Product Council with equal rights as engineering and marketing

Marty says a successful product manager sees himself as the CEO of the product. This is absolutely true, but unfortunately the Directors of Engineering and those of Marketing, also see themselves as CEOs. As long as an independent product council does not exist, the product manager must be a CEO with zero authority.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good,but not great. June 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Yet another collection of blog posts. This is becoming a genre of it's own. Unfortunately, there are inherent problems with this type of a book:

1) Usually, there not enough time spent in order to "arrange the material in the book into a coherent progression and logic" (quoted from Charles Petzold).

2) Some topics are not discussed deeply enough, because it was originally just a blog post and, as such, was not intended to be thoroughly researched.

3) Tendency to repetition and oversimplification, hence prose becomes extremely bulky, but with insufficient content. This is also probably due to the fact that these were originally independent posts intended to be read individually. Even the best editors can not help with it.

In addition to the problems outlined above, this particular book has some unique deficiencies:

4) Examples are not in the book, but on a separate web site. To be fair, author warns about it and apologizes for it in the introduction, but still. In author's own words: "I realize this breaks the flow of reading a book". It does.

5) Lack of real world situations. Author used to work for some of the most exciting companies in the world: eBay, Netscape, HP. I would love to hear some information on how things are/were done there.

6) I personally find the 'high-fidelity prototype' concept to be highly questionable. But it is used as a foundation for many other ideas. High-fidelity prototypes could be as difficult to build the product itself, it all depends on the product and subject matter. Yet, it is presented as a sort of a product manager's silver bullet, without any discussion on when building this prototype could be problematic.

7) Lack of 'features discussions'.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Killing me softly with his words June 14, 2009
I spent years as an interface designer in a risk-averse Fortune 500 company as the sole advocate for usability, wearing the additional hats of information architect, HTML coder, visual designer, and more. In that company, the developers were an abusive bunch who called the shots, fought me on every design proposal, and demanded tons of documentation before anything was ever built. I also had little access to end users. There were maybe two releases per year, and they were always painful.

I left that environment to become a user experience consultant in another Fortune 500 company. Despite the fact that I now had a fresh start in a friendlier environment with a more collaborative team of developers, I was wary and defensive. I didn't want to blow my new gig, though, so I was looking for guidance fast. I read two books that saved me: Alan Cooper's "Inmates Are Running The Asylum", and "Inspired".

Prior to these books, I'd heard the terms "waterfall" and "agile" before but never really knew what they meant. But now it was like suddenly learning the name of an affliction from which I'd been suffering. Several times while reading "Inspired" I caught myself saying, "Yes - yes, that's it! That's what happened to me!" It really was like the song by Roberta Flack: this guy knew my pain and had could have BEEN me in some of the stories he describes.

I'm not able to put into practice everything Mr. Cagan describes in an optimal environment, but thanks to this book I have a much better understanding of my hats, including ones I didn't know I was wearing. His insights have helped me learn to pace myself, and perhaps even more importantly, to forgive myself if I don't get to every single thing. I highly recommend this book to user experience professionals who are working for large organizations where it is a challenge to introduce and nurture new thinking.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars great resource to learn about everything involved in building a...
My favorite quote from the book:

“Most people wander around in the dark and bitch about it being dark, instead of learning where the light switches are.”
Published 15 days ago by JavaSwinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guidance for product and marketing people
Great for anyone trying to figure out what good tech products are all about. Lays out the roles and tasks needed for developing great software products.
Published 26 days ago by Michael Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars great
The book is simple and straight to the point. Good structure and language comfortable for non-nativa English speakers. Highly recommend.
Published 1 month ago by oleg
4.0 out of 5 stars solid description of software product management
Easy read with minimal fluff. I recommend to any product manager. Summaries and lists help bring home the value in the book.
Published 1 month ago by Brian Frank
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for any CEO wanting to create world-class products
This is an easy read filled with practical techniques to help any organisation improve how they go about structuring business operations to create winning products.
Published 1 month ago by Mr Mike Bryer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for new PMs or those interested in the field
This book was an easy read and laid out clear examples of what a product manager should be, and what to focus on. Read more
Published 2 months ago by John A Dodson
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for product development
For product developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and the like; this book delivers on its name.

I was recommended Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Samuel Aten
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book and a good read for any software company
Published 3 months ago by Torrance Robinson
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written
The book was well written and had good points, but not so much new knowledge for those who had read similar books earlier.
Published 4 months ago by Timo Kallinen
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Lots of valuable insight.
Published 4 months ago by K. Smith
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